You can probably guess how excited I was to see the title: “Science as Storytelling”, only to find more whack definitions. Kidding. I actually did enjoy reading these articles as they narrowed down the broad definition of science into rules. Anything that can simplify my hatred of science has my vote!
In the first article, I particularly enjoyed reading over the introduction which describes what science is: “Science is the modern art of creating stories that explain observations of the natural world, and that could be useful for controlling or predicting nature”. Seems easy enough! The broadness of the definition made me immediately question what would deem a scientist…to actually be a scientist. Do they play with magic potions or talk like Bill Nye? I read on to further explanations that many people might be called scientist, but that is truly based on whether or not they follow the “rules” of science, and observation, and theorization, and predicting the future entirely!
The rules, in short, allowed me to understand that science must follow precise protocol in order for it to work and be widely accepted. The text’s term “harmony” fit perfectly into the whole idea of storytelling, as storytelling is a sequence of events that directly correlate to one another.
The second article made me apply the informational “rules” of science into an art/visual perspective like an actual story. I immediately thought of Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” and how he showed, through a sequence of events, the earth over a great amount of time. He showed visually, how it changed and evolved over time, predicting that global warming is a real thing and we ought to do more scientifically to prevent it. When I saw the movie, I immediately wanted to do something about global warming, whereas before, I could careless about it’s effect on me. “The narrative impact in information visualization stems from visual comparisons using simple, abstract representations of data: bar charts show differences in length, scatterplots show differences in position, tree maps and pie charts show differences in area, and heatmaps show differences in color and intensity”–this quote depicts this beautifully. If we are able to show visuals of science and its effect on us and the world as a whole, we are able to grasp a greater and wider audience in a simple yet intriguing way.
I’ll take pictures and storytelling over oral lectures and 100 page readings on theories and analysis any day!